Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dear Comcast, please distribute this post for me.

From the current Comcast High Speed Internet service agreement:

Comcast does not claim any ownership of any material that you publish, transmit or distribute using HSI. By using HSI to publish, transmit or distribute material or content, you (1) warrant that the material or content complies with the provisions of this Agreement, (2) consent to and authorize Comcast, its agents, suppliers, and affiliates to reproduce, publish, distribute, and display the content worldwide and (3) warrant that you have the right to provide this authorization. You acknowledge that material posted or transmitted using HSI may be copied, republished or distributed by third parties, and you agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Comcast, its agents, suppliers, and affiliates for any harm resulting from these actions.

So while they do state that they're not going to try to steal anything you transmit through their network, they immediately follow that by stating that by using their network, you agree that your materials may be copied and published by pretty much anyone. Of course, it would be impossible to use the internet if material was not freely copied and distributed around the world. So then is such a clause unnecessary? Could it be misinterpreted by someone who pirates your intellectual property as giving them permission to republish such? I realize they are just trying to say that if someone steals your stuff, Comcast isn't liable. It just seems that adding unnecessary clauses like this makes such an agreement unnecessarily complex, and thus open to misinterpretation. And provides job security for lawyers everywhere.

1 comment:

Sterling said...

I am impressed in two ways. 1. that you read their agreement. 2. that you internalized and interpreted what you read. I got to the second word and my mind wandered. I ended up skimming it like I do most legal documents. "Hereby agree, yadda yadda, beneficiary, blah blah, assume possession of all monetary gains blah blah of all household members who have, have had and will have a nose yadda yadda, and surrender all monies earned from henceforth." Uh, yeah! Sounds great! I sign here?